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A Summer Fling
13 New from
I was lucky enough to win a signed copy of this one, Milly also enclosed some confetti, a bookmark and a keyring in my prize - what a lovely person I thought, I hope the book is just as lovely. Oh, don't you just love it when you read a book by an author you haven't tried before and love love love it - and then find that she has another three novels out there that I haven't yet read?'A Summer Fling' is Milly's fourth novel and is written with some warmth and compassion, humour and fun and a good dollop of emotion thrown in. We are introduced to the five main femaile characters almost straight away - a group of women working together in an office - they seem an ordinary sort of bunch but as Milly tells their own stories and expands their characters the reader is really drawn into their lives.In essence, the story is about romance but also touches on some pretty hard hitting subjects including miscarriage, domestic violence and racism. There are times when I shouted out loud when reading about innocent Dawn and her 'ideal' man. Ideal? We knew that, the other characters knew that but it took an age for Dawn to realise it. There were other times when I chuckled to myself, nodded my head in agreement and actually saw my own behaviour in those women!An added bonus for me was that fact that I actually know Barnsley and the joy of the market and the agony of searching Meadowhall for that perfect pair of shoes.I won't go on and on about it - but just advise anyone who wants a warm. funny and romantic read to get out there and give it a go.
The Flying Carpet to Baghdad
2 New from
Hala Jaber is a journalist, born of Lebanese parents and married to an Englishman she was working for an English newspaper during the Iraq war. Being Muslim, but living in Britian, Hala could empathise with both sides of the war, but it was her longing to become a mother that spurred on her involvement with two children.Hala travelled an extremely hard and often very emotional personal journey during this time and it is honestly portrayed in this book. There are passages in the book that left me very close to tears as describes the horror of seeing so many injured, orphaned children. The innocent victims of a war that they understood nothing about.Although Hala was no stranger to reporting from war-torn countries, she is a respected and award winning journalist, this assignment became incredibly hard and personal for her. Discovering the two badly injured, newly orphaned children whilst struggling to cope with the death of friends and colleagues and continuing to file her reports with her editor.I'm sure many of us remember the reports of Ali, the small Iraqi boy who lost both his arms during the conflict and was airlifted to Britain for treatment. He was featured heavily on British television at the time. In the book, Hala brings the reader up to date with Ali's story as she meets him a few years later.This is a deeply moving, well written book that really brings home the hidden cost of war.
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Stars
A really wonderful pick-me-up of a book. I enjoyed 'A Wayne In A Manger' and 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars' is just as funny with some fabulous stories of the things that children say.
It's lovely to be reminded of just how innocent most little children are and the dryness of the Yorkshire humour that runs through the book.
The Lost Daughter
1 New from
I read this whilst on holiday in Corfu, my second of her books, the first being Breaking The Silence.
I really enjoyed the story, but not quite as much as Breaking The Silence, I just felt that I wanted a little bit 'more' from it.The plot/storyline is an excellent idea and the characters were great, it's certainly an easy read and something of a page-turner though.
9 New from
I read this on holiday and wasnt impressed at all. I've not read any of his books before and I doubt I will read any more. I found the main characters so annoying and the story did nothing for me at all.
16 New from
My first holiday read, it's a while since I've read any Susan Lewis and the blurb on the back of this one sounds great. I did think however that the front cover is a little misleading, as you are led to believe that the 'missing' of the title is a child, when in fact the missing child is only a small part of the story.
The story is really about the disappearance of Jacqueline Avery - disturbed and lonely wife of the wealthy Miles and mother of a teenage daughter. Jacqueline has disappeared before, and it is soon clear that she has many issues to deal with, not least the disappearance of her small son many years ago and the impact of that event on her life. It takes a while for Miles to contact the police about his wife's disappearance, and once he does, his secrets are soon exposed.
Alongside the central storyline, there is the story of Vivienne; the woman who Miles really loves and who has kept a major secret from him for some time for fear of how Jacqueline would cope with yet another explosive event in her life.
A good read with a sound story line and some good characters.
15 New from
A book aimed at young adults / older children and focussing on the 'forbidden' subject of sibling incest - a topic that would make most parents gasp in horror, but please don't be put off by the topic as this book is one of the most extraordinary pieces of writing that I have read for a very long time.Without sensationalism, but with so much sensitivity in the writing, this is passionate, horrific, empathic and so well handled.Lochan and Maya are the two teenagers in the story, for the past 5 years they have held their family together. With an absent father and an alcoholic mother who spends much of her time chasing her youth, these two young people have become the parents for their three younger siblings.Lochan is the head of the household, the law-maker and the care-giver. Lochan is such a disturbed soul, at school he is looked on as something of a freak, incredibly bright but he never speaks to his classmates. He rushes home from school each day to cook, clean, supervise homework before falling exhausted into bed to face another day. Maya, his sister is just thirteen months his junior and shares equally the task of bringing up the family.Lochan and Maya have been stand in parents for so long, and are so close that it really doesnt seem unexpected that one day they would fall in love, rather than love each other just as siblings.It is their horror and their joy that is so well written. The strength of their feelings for each other, the way that they know that they must protect each other from harm and their intense love for each other jumps from the page.No matter how much the reader knows that what is happening is wrong, it is incredibly hard not to wish them well, to want, as they do, that happy ending - where they can openly live together and show everyone just how much they mean to each other.This is a beautiful story, for both adults and older children. Tabitha Suzuma is a gifted author who will be a force to be reckoned with in the future.An ideal read for book groups - there is much to discuss. This story will stay with the reader for a long time after closing the book.
16 New from
Oh how I love Tasmina Perry - her books should come on prescription, along with sunshine, a long cool drink and the biggest blingiest sunglasses to hide behind! Total and utter glitz and glamour - the world of the mega-rich, the mega-famous and the mega-bitchy. The perfect pick-me-up - I loved every block busting page of it!
The plot centres around an in-family fight to take over the high-quality leather goods company that is worth millions, with the action taking place in the glossiest of magazine offices, the plushest hotels and the private helicopters of the rich and famous. The two main characters are cousins ; Emma - the good girl and Cassandra - the evil *** - oh what perfect names to suit their personalities. Emma was never going to be the *** was she?
The ideal holiday read, suspend belief and see how the other half (probably) live!
Your Blue-eyed Boy
OK, so this book was first published in 1999, I'm not sure why I've only just read it, but I took it on holiday this year and really enjoyed the pace of writing.
The story deals with Simone's past, she is presently a judge living in a remote part of England with her husband and sons, the blue-eyed boy of the title is Michael, a boyfriend from years ago who has suddenly re-appeared in her life. Like many of us, Simone did some things in her youth that she would rather forget, that do not fit in with her modern image as a judge and things that she would rather her family did not know about.
This is a really dark but engrossing story. Michael wants Simone to return to their past life - he is obviously mentally disturbed and she is obviously quite scared.
A short but intense read that makes the reader consider the wrongs and rights of things that have been done in life. I enjoyed it and will read more of her books.
14 New from
I've read and enjoyed a couple of Tracy Chevalier novels, Falling Angels was published in 2002 and it is another great historical read - quirky, informative, at times very funny and some great characters.
It starts at the beginning of the twentieth century and is set in London, narrated by different characters including members of two families and a grave digger's son who lives and works in the neighbouring cemetery.
The two main characters are the two females of the families - Kitty and Gertrude. Kitty is beautiful, intelligent and smart, but resents the restrictions put upon Victorian women and is bored with her safe and quite boring husband, she dreams of excitement and longs for her family at home in Lincolnshire. Gertrude, on the other hand, would love to be like Kitty. She longs to be seen as an upstanding member of the community and is very concerned that everything she and her two daughters is right and proper.
The two families are brought together when they meet in the cemetery, their family graves are ajoining. The two daughters of the households soon become firm friends, spending time in the cemetery and befriending Simon, the grave-digger's son - a totally unsuitable friend for any well brought up Victorian young lady.
The story then follows the girls as they grow up - their blossoming friendships, the ups and downs of family life. There is some really interesting facts about Victorian mourning fashions and funerals and Chevalier is a real expert at historical facts and scene setting.
Although not as engaging as Girl With A Pearl Earring, I did enjoy this novel.